Okay.......developers all.........start your engines.

Story: 5 steps to making your first KDE Python PlasmoidTotal Replies: 3
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Jul 04, 2010
2:05 AM EDT
I watched in fascination while a large debate took place over this same article on LXT a few days ago. Several basic points seemed to come out of the pretty honest discussion, but my concepts are open to correction. Here they are:

1. This article describes a use of the KDE4 Plasmoid structure by a software programmer/developer for software programmers and developers.

2. For perhaps over 90% of the readers or KDE4 users, it has very little application or use, but that in NO way is meant as a put-down and of course the article should be open and readily available to all if you understand it, or even if you don't. But unless you can program in Python (and I am the first to admit I am illiterate in programming), this article is valueless. To those who can, it's great.

3. KDE4 was designed by software developers for the use of other software developers using the Plasmoid structure and of course, for use by the rest of us "unwashed computer illiterates".

But, given my thoughts on KDE4 expressed here a few days ago, again I keep wondering why the Plasmoid structure for that small percentage of developer users has to be inserted into KDE4 when the vast majority of users probably look on it as either of little value or a nuisance ? Given that my perception of Plasmoids is that they are simply fancy little software applications, why has KDE4 absolutely got to have that development process right in the middle of the window manager ? Would it not be simpler and less confusing if the Plasmoid structure was a wholly separate KDE4 module that could be called up by a developer to write applets or software ? That way it would never appear in the KDE4 main program. Wouldn't that make KDE4's programming less complex ? Isn't separate development of software a standard procedure in other window managers, so why has KDE4 got to be both a window manager and a development tool ? Or am I missing something here ? I do know I hate that cashew......

Jul 04, 2010
3:14 AM EDT
Cashews should be only ever be found in packets, and, preferably, salted.

Jul 04, 2010
3:28 AM EDT
LOL........I may not get up......I need a glass of wine, some Red Leicestershire cheese and some kalamata black olives.....with perhaps several cashews added.......Agreed.......only place for them. :-D

Jul 04, 2010
7:05 AM EDT
There is some 'small' group of wannabe-programmers, who might have benefit because of the plasmoid-framework. Not it being in the middle of the desktop, but it may be simpler to make a program using this framework than using QT or something.

Coincidentally, I belong to that group of "wannabe's", those who know a little 'programming basics', can write little scripts in python, can write for loops / "Hello world" / prime number stuff in C, and once I managed to make a 'two color pixel rendering algorithm' displaying a chessboard and pieces and then the user being able to move those pieces (basically emulating a black/white 64x96pixel TI83 screen) in OpenGL / C++. But I never wrote decent code, let alone a whole program.

When I looked at this, I thought: "OK, this might be doable".

Shortly thereafter, I thought of Plasmoids I could try to program. Python has a simple HTTP-library, a way to download web content in your program. Add the power of 'grep' (text filtering), and I envisioned downloading some weather information to a Plasmoid.

OK, there are a gazillion weather-Plasmoids already, but the difference is, the weather-stats I follow are not in them (yet).

So there's a small minority to which this framework might have benefit, and I think I belong to that small minority.

However, if that small minority is two times as large as the number of 'coders' working on KDE, I think it has its merits. Pretty much the same like Firefox add-ons: Programming an add-on is not for programming illiterates, but it might be useful to "wannabe's" (though lots of add-ons are much above the wannabe level of course!). It adds value, because the 'real' coders see lots of new ideas which they might enable by default in their next version.

It's a bit the same like bash I suppose: Even if you can't program, you can 'save' a sequence of commands and use it later on. So it has its merits for a small group of people. I think the idea is, this small group of people can bring more value to the platform as a whole. It's decreasing the threshold (or lowering the barrier? I'm not sure how to say in English) to contribute. But still, there's a threshold - it's not going to disappear even while lower.

So it could read:

1. This article describes a platform written by programming guru's for programming wannabe's / noobs. 2. For about 1% of the KDE4 users, this framework may have use. If 0.1% of the KDE4 users are coders who contribute C/C++ code to KDE, then this is a significant increase and can lead to more contribution, even if only useful for a small minority. 3. KDE4 was designed by 'guru' software developers, who tried to design frameworks (Phonon, Akonadi, Sonate, what have you) which can be used by those who are a little less proficient at programming.

About the issue of Plasmoids and their position on the desktop, I agree completely. But that's why I have a totally empty desktop (no start bar, start button, start menu or icons, except the very few I couldn't get rid of). However, I think I belong to a minority: Most people don't mind if their desktop contains more information then they can process within let's say 2 seconds.

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